FAA confirmation : A pilot of a regional service airline reported at 10:03, he was just west of Tri Cities Regional Airport when he was nearly struck by a "meteor" while at an altitude of 4500 feet. The pilot stated the "meteor was in level flight and going "slow". Those of us who understand such things realize that meteors do not fly slow and not at 4500 feet.
The control tower at "Tri" had also received a few calls concerning a burning aircraft.
Immediately following this event, a witness in Johnson City, Tennessee reported seeing a large dark cigar shaped object hovering near downtown. She described the object as" looking like one of those Viet-Nam helicopters"(we assume a Chinook), without props.
The object, according to the witness, hovered with it's length some 45 degrees tilted up in the rear portion, had a white light top and bottom centrally. It also had a large "spotlight" like illumination on it's front pointing down. She assured the investigator that this was no helicopter she saw and it made absolutely no sound. The object hovered for some time and then sped off quickly to the southeast.
Subsequently, at about 22:30, a witness reported hearing a conversation on a scanner in Carter County regarding a flying object between two police officers or Sheriff deputies. There were "chuckles" and a request that this subject be discussed by phone. Carter County 911 has no record of this discussion.
We will be following up with calls to both Washington and Unicoi County 911 offices to see if this object was the FAA's "burning aircraft" which calls were made in regards to.
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